Why Use A Gong Dao Bei?
aks FAIRNESS CUP/ PITCHER
There are a lot of YouTube videos using a Gong Dao Bei (pitcher) when demonstrating Gong Fu Cha, which to be fair, I do see some people using it occasionally in Chaoshan these days. But it does not traditionally belong to the Gong Fu Cha style of serving, as people believe that by passing and pouring the tea through a pitcher, it reduces the tea’s temperature thus taking away the richest aroma from it.
Gong Dao Bei, translated to fairness cup, is originally from Taiwan and is now being seen more and more in modern gongfu brewing.
So why do people like it?
1. When pouring tea out from a teapot or gaiwan, the tea that comes out from the very beginning is weaker than the tea that comes out later. In traditional gongfu brewing we usually rotate the stream when pouring tea, in order to make the three cups evenly strong.
Or an easy alternative is pouring the tea into a fairness cup first, so everyone is guaranteed to receive an equal strength brew later in their cup (so fair)!
2. As the fairness cup is transparent, it allows us to observe the tea color and see how much tea is left as we pour, so we can adjust the amount for each cup easily.
4. It is required to pour out all the tea in the brewing vessel each round or the tea left will get over brewed and affect the taste of the next brew.
In traditional gongfu brewing, the host might just discard the last bit of the tea if the gongfu cups are almost full. In this case, a fairness cup can collect all of the tea and make sure nothing gets wasted.
The tea left in the fairness cup can then be given to an individual cup when one finishes first.
3. For some, especially the beginners, it’s hard to hold the gaiwan in the right way without burning their fingers and it’s also hard to pour without spilling the tea, so it helps to place the gaiwan above the fairness cup and let the tea makes its way to the pitcher.
5. When there are quite a number of guests sitting a bit spread out, sometimes it’s difficult to constantly deliver the gongfu cups from tray to individual hand.
A fairness cup is easier to carry around and pour for each cup.
Fairness cup is a very friendly tool for beginners to gongfu brewing. Even experienced gongfu brewers tend to own one for certain occasions.
We hope you find this article helpful! Share it with a friend who you want to enjoy tea with and try out the benefits of Gong Dao Bei together!